‘We are going to use this money to work for athletes’ - Moloi as ASA pens multi million Rand deal
Athletics South Africa President (ASA) James Moloi says they will use the money injected into the federation in order to take athletics in the country to the next level. Yesterday, the sport’s governing body announced a new four-year partnership with sports broadcast giant SuperSport that will bring events such as the SA Senior track and field championships, the Soweto Marathon and the country’s much-loved ultra marathons to athletics lovers live on SuperSport. Beginning in March and rumoured to be worth around R10 million, the deal is a breath of life for a body whose erstwhile financial woes have been well documented.
“Excitement does not even begin to describe our overwhelming feeling,” said Moloi at the glitzy launch which took place at the Southern Sun in Rosebank yesterday. “We are very happy because we’ve never had a long-term broadcasting contract before. Our contracts in the past have always been for one year or even six months. But that doesn’t work for us. So we were very excited when we met with SuperSport and they gave us a good deal,” he explained.
As part of his election manifesto while on the campaign trail for the sport’s highest office last year, Moloi promised to put athletics back on live television (both road running and track and field). The man who is also outgoing President of Central Gauteng Athletics emphasised the importance of television coverage not only for athletes but also to help swell the coffers of the country’s struggling regional athletics federations.
“This deal will, without doubt, help us attract much needed sponsorship to both ASA and ASA’s Provinces. The money that we are going to get out of this is not our money, it’s the money that is going to work for our athletes. We are going to use the money to send them overseas and to pay them incentives if they run new records etc. It’s not our money. Out of this contract, athletes are the ones who are going to benefit more than anybody else.”
SuperSport CEO Marc Jury echoed Moloi’s sentiments when he described the the Pan-African broadcaster as one of the biggest funders of sports development on the continent, whose world-class production values will also be used to cover junior, youth, tertiary and school athletics in SA. “With so much talent emerging and athletes winning major medals, this is an exciting time for the sport. We look forward to broadcasting these moments and helping unveil aspirant stars.”
“It’s been a long time coming. We love South African sport. We love South African athletics and it’s been something that we have wanted to showcase on the SuperSport platform for a long period of time. I’m more excited for the years to come and what our commitment to South African Athletics is gonna be - to the athletes themselves and to the various events. We really are looking at uplifting and creating opportunities to showcase our athletes as far and wide as possible and for them to be able to grow their own brands and want to perform on the best possible stage,” he concluded.